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Ask a Trooper: How effective are extra-enforcement projects?

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol

Question: How effective are the statewide extra-enforcement projects are announced from law enforcement?

Answer: These campaigns are very effective in reducing the total number of crashes caused by speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving and occupants not wearing a seat belt.

From our last extra enforcement speed campaign, more than 300 law enforcement agencies participated in Minnesota from July 6-22. This resulted in officers, deputies and troopers issuing 14,661 citations for unsafe speeds and 1,625 seat belt citations.

During the campaign, 25 agencies reported speeds of 100 mph or more. Those speeds included:

• 120 mph — Corcoran Police Department;

• 115 mph — Minnesota State Patrol (District 2900—Detroit Lakes);

• 110 mph — Nicollet County Sheriff's Office;

• 110 mph — Ramsey County Sheriff's Office;

• 110 mph — St. Francis Police Department.

Some of the excuses and traffic stops law enforcement encountered during the two-week period:

• "Trying to make it to Taco Bell before it closed." (99 mph in 65 mph zone)

• "Just picked up a glass cake pan from a friend, excited to get home and start cooking." (45 mph in 35 mph zone)

• A motorcyclist riding over 120 mph in a 50 mph zone. Recently bought the motorcycle and wanted to go fast.

• Two different troopers cited the same driver for the same speed about 32 minutes apart. (79 mph in 60 mph zone)

• "Trying to get air in the truck since the AC is broken." (75 mph in 65 mph zone)

Cost of a speeding violation will vary by county, but it will typically cost a driver more than $110 with court fees for traveling 10 mph over the limit. Fines double for those traveling 20 mph over the limit. A driver can lose their license for six months for going 100 mph or more.

Please obey all traffic laws by driving the speed limit, never drive while intoxicated, avoid all distractions and always wear your seat belt.

Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to trooper@duluthnews.com or Sgt. Neil Dickenson — Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811.

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